manchester foe logo

Local Elections 2024: Candidates pledge to make Climate a priority #LE2024

news release

With one day of campaigning to go before the local elections in Greater Manchester,  Manchester Friends of the Earth welcomes the cross-party support from candidates for urgent action on climate change and other environmental challenges facing us locally, nationally and globally. (1)

On Thursday 2nd May, people have the opportunity to vote for the local councillors who will represent them.

The local councillors elected will be a member of a Greater Manchester local authority that will have to address urgent environmental and social challenges during their term and beyond.

Climate change, nature, and human wellbeing are inextricably linked. If these are not addressed adequately then the cost to current and future generations in terms of lives lost, livelihoods damaged, and economic harm will be severe. 

It is the poorest in the world who are suffering most, despite contributing least to the problem.

Of the candidates who have responded so far: 

96% pledged to make ‘climate action one of their top priorities‘ (Q1), 

95%  will ‘call on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to set a clear pathway to meet the World Health Organization targets for healthy air by 2030‘  (Q6) 

and 95% would ‘support a significant increase in a network of radial and orbital bus priority routes to help provide consistent and reliable bus journey times across Greater Manchester.‘ (Q11)

Amy Beresford, Manchester Friends of the Earth co-ordinator said:

“We need our local councillors to make tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis a priority. The transition to a carbon-neutral Greater Manchester must be socially just and support those who are most disadvantaged first.  The longer we put off these tough decisions the harder it will be.”

“Local residents deserve to know whether their candidates would put young people first and act now for a sustainable future.”

“We’d like to thank the candidates who took the time to share their views on key issues that affect all our lives, such as air pollution, nature, public transport and climate change.”

Each candidate’s  response is available for people to view online (2) and so far, 153 (15.8%) of the 959 local candidates have replied.  Of the candidates who responded:

96% would “do all I can to ensure the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, which is controlled by the ten GM councils, ends investment in fossil fuels within the next two years and invests in a just transition to a zero-carbon economy” (Q3).

93% supported their Council installing on-street bike storage. (Q5) 

93% supported the ‘introduction of a zero-carbon standard for all new buildings in your council’s Local Plan’ (Q10)

91% supported “increasing the percentage of primary schools in your local council area with a permanent school street to 25% within 5 years.” (Q2) 

91% would do all they can to ‘ can to ensure that your local authority puts in place plans to double tree cover in your council area'(Q9).

91% supported the introduction of an ‘ethical advertising policy’ on Council-controlled sites (Q12)

90% would encourage their council to streamline the local planning system to make heat pump installations and retrofit easier, and push for a consistent approach across Greater Manchester (Q7).

86%  supported a ‘65%+ recycling alongside residual waste reduction targets by opposing all new incineration capacity and opposing long-term council waste contracts that are incompatible with these targets’ (Q14).

71% would support a ban on pavement parking in their council area (Q8).

[Undecided 21%,  No 7%]

71% supported the introduction of a Departure Tax on flights from Manchester Airport to raise funds for climate action across Greater Manchester. (Q13). [Undecided 19%, No 9%].

66% would ‘push for a workplace parking levy for large and medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester’.  (Q4) [Undecided7%, No 26%].

(See note 3 for the questions and background info.)

Across Greater Manchester response rates for candidates from each political party ranged from: Green Party (50%), Liberal Democrats (17%), Labour Party (15%), “others” (4%) and the Conservative Party (2%). 

Response rates for each local council area ranged from Manchester (33.6%) to Rochdale (3.3%). (4) (5)



ENDS

Contact for comments:  Pete Abel, Manchester Friends of the Earth. Email: office@manchesterfoe.org.uk  Mobile: 07951 642858

Notes for Editors

1) See manchesterfoe.org.uk/le2024

Where possible we directly contact local candidates by email, Twitter or Facebook. We also contact local political parties and ask them to circulate the survey to all their local candidates.

2) The local council candidate responses are published online as they are received.  See https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/election-survey-2024-candidate-response/  (click on the relevant local council tab and scroll down).

3) Candidates were asked to give their views on the following 14 questions. See Local elections 2024: candidate survey questions and background information

Q1: Will you make climate action one of your top priorities if you’re elected?

Q2: Will you support increasing the percentage of primary schools in your local council area with a permanent school street to 25% within 5 years?

Q3: Will you support the GMPF Divestment Pledge: “If elected, I will do all I can to ensure the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, which is controlled by the ten GM councils, ends investment in fossil fuels within the next two years and invests in a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.”?

Q4: Will you push for a workplace parking levy for large and medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester?

Q5: Will you encourage your council to install on-street bike storage in local residential areas?

Q6: Will you call on the Greater  Manchester Combined Authority to set a clear pathway to meet the World Health Organization targets for healthy air by 2030?

Q7: Will you encourage your council to streamline the local planning system to make heat pump installations and retrofit easier, and push for a consistent approach across Greater Manchester?

Q8: Will you support a ban on pavement parking in your council area?

Q9: Will you do all you can to ensure that your local authority puts in place plans to double tree cover in your council area?

Q10: Do you support the introduction of a zero-carbon standard for all new buildings in your Council’s Local Plan?

Q11: Will you support a significant increase in a network of radial and orbital bus priority routes to help provide consistent and reliable bus journey times across Greater Manchester?

Q12: Do you support the introduction of an ‘ethical advertising policy’ on Council-controlled sites?

Q13: Do you support the introduction of a departure tax at Manchester Airport to raise funds for climate action across Greater Manchester?

Q14: Do you pledge to support 65%+ recycling alongside residual waste reduction targets by opposing all new incineration capacity and opposing long-term council waste contracts that are incompatible with these targets?

4) See: 

Election Survey 2024 – Parties

Election Survey 2024 – Areas.

5)  Between 16th April to 30th April, where we could find contact details for candidates, we directly contacted over 44% of local election candidates via a combination of email, Facebook and Twitter asking them to respond to the local election environment survey.  In addition, where contact details were available, local political parties were contacted by email, Twitter or Facebook asking them to circulate details of the election environment survey to all their local candidates.

6) Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations.   Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk

Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. www.foe.co.uk

Find us on

Facebook

Support Us

Donate or join us using a standing order or PayPal.

Twitter @foemcr